SIDS Program Manual Trainer's Guide SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide


Opening the Training


Icebreakers can be a good way to start a training. They warm up participants, put them at ease, get them involved and open up communication. Icebreakers create a positive learning climate within the group. They foster interaction, build group identity, stimulate creative thinking, acquaint participants with each other and help establish comfort. For examples of icebreakers, see Appendix F: Icebreakers, Energizers & Closing Activities.

When selecting an icebreaker, consider:

The group’s composition. Consider participants’ ages, cultural backgrounds, educational levels, occupations and personalities.

Time constraints. The length of the icebreaker depends on the length of the training. More time can be devoted to icebreakers when the training is a full day or longer.

Comfort. Icebreakers should make people feel comfortable. Do not use an icebreaker that would embarrass someone or that would make participants fail. Use an icebreaker that makes participants feel comfortable, not one that raises anxiety.

Participation. Choose icebreakers that encourage everyone to speak. This is especially important for shy or timid participants. After their voice is in the room, shy participants are more likely to contribute to subsequent discussions.

Topic. Icebreakers are best when they are related to the topic of the training. However, sometimes, it is important to have a fun icebreaker not related to the topic to lighten the mood or create a comfortable environment.